The Chantic Bird is the confession of a teenage anarchist, who combines a contempt for contemporary society with a great tenderness and warmth for his younger siblings and for Bee, the girl who looks after them.
The first of David Ireland's masterful novels, The Chantic Bird contains the same characteristic indictment of the bovine mindlessness of collective humanity, and the home-owning wage slaves.
This edition of The Chantic Bird comes with a new introduction by Geordie Williamson.
David Ireland was born in 1927 in south-western Sydney. He lived in many places and worked at many jobs, including greenskeeper, factory hand, and for an extended period in an oil refinery, before he became a full-time writer. His first novel, The Chantic Bird, was published in 1968. In the next decade he published five further novels, three of which won the Miles Franklin Award: The Unknown Industrial Prisoner, The Glass Canoe and A Woman of the Future. David Ireland was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1981. In 1985 he received the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal for his novel Archimedes and the Seagull.
'One of the most remarkable novels - first, fifth or fifteenth - to appear on the scene for many a long day...Compassionate and pitiless, savage and sad, ironic and naive, horrifying and farcical.' Sydney Morning Herald
'Gloriously and savagely comic.' Adelaide Advertiser